Are you a one-book-at-a-time reader?

READ STREET

January 25, 2009|By dave rosenthal and nancy.johnston | dave rosenthal and nancy.johnston,dave.rosenthal@baltsun.com and nancy.johnston@baltsun.com

Today, we'll consider an important question about your character: Are you monogamous?

No, not that kind of monogamy - that's your business, and we don't need to know about it.

We mean literary monogamy. Do you read one book at a time? Or do you have two or more going at once - say, a novel, a nonfiction book and a collection of short stories?

Dave: In school, I juggled several books - a novel for African-American Lit, a science textbook and nonfiction for government classes. But now, I'm a one-book man. I like to focus, to get comfortable with the author's pacing and language. And I want to keep track of the subtleties of a character, setting or plot.

I may have a magazine article or short story handy in case I only have a few minutes to read. But I prefer at least an hour of quiet - and one book.

Nancy: I love to read, and I do it just about all the time. But what if I'm not in the mood for the collection of political profiles I picked up a few days ago? Well, I just pick up the graphic novel about zombies. Or the Mexican crime novel. Or re-read Pride and Prejudice. You get the idea. I just don't want to be hemmed in.

Do I ever get confused or lose my place? Sure! I'm fairly certain that after eight months, I'm going to have to start the translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses all over again. But most of the time, it's a system that works for me.

What are your reading habits - do you subscribe to Davidite monogamy or Nancyist polygamy? Let us know with an e-mail or comment on Read Street.

Inauguration poem

Elizabeth Alexander's poem for the inauguration of President Barack Obama sparked praise and criticism on the blog. A bad omen for a presidency aiming to unify the country? Some sample comments:

I thought the poem was very appropriate ... aiming to capture moments, simple moments, the ones that create the American way of life. - Sandy Smith

I was waiting on something inspiring. Something to capture the essence of this day. I am still waiting. - Felicia

The benediction was a much better poem than the poem. - Paul

I loved the poem. Ms. Alexander captured the moment that will truly redefine a generation of citizens, thinkers, and activists. - Ramsey

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